Homosexuality and Christianity
Published July 6, 2012 |
I have recently been asked by a number of people what my thoughts are regarding Christians who are homosexual. This is definitely a hot topic, and I am sure some will take exception to what my personal views are. Also check out the bottom of the article for a video and another article I have linked to. As I am sure there will quite some debating in the comment section, please be friendly, and keep it short if you can – Cornel Marais
The direct blunt question is really ‘Can a person be saved and a homosexual at the same time?’ My answer is yes and no, depending on how you define a few concepts. This is because I believe it comes down to a question of identity as well as your value system.
Firstly as a Christian, you are to find your identity in Christ. Jesus is the cornerstone of your true identity. 1 John 4:17 says that we are as Jesus is in this world. Now I don’t believe Jesus is a homosexual (since He is waiting for a bride, not a groom) therefore to claim or express a Christian homosexual identity is not a true expression of your real identity, which is Christ. In the same way that murder, living in adultery, stealing or lying is not an expression of one’s true Christ-like identity, or the expression of Christ in me.
Secondly, where do get your value system from? If you get it from your feelings, then your values will change with your feelings. Saying homosexuality is right because you were born that way and can’t help your feelings, passions and desires leads down a slippery slope. What if another person claims that they were born to rape children? They also say they can’t help their feelings, passions and desires, so therefore raping children is right in their opinion. Who are you to judge them? Feelings and passions towards certain actions don’t make the actions right.
One’s value system cannot be based on one’s feelings; otherwise your values will change with your mood swings. It needs to come from an unchangeable source. As a Christian, we find our value system in Christ, and as such homosexuality is once again ousted. Now to make this claim I have to take the stance that homosexuality is a sin, because sin is not an expression of Christ’s identity nor His value system.
Now many of the people who will disagree with me when I say it is a sin will now tell me that if I believe this to be a sin and voice my opinion of it, that I will have to equally oppose things like shaving my beard, eating pork and wearing clothes weaved of different materials, things I willingly do all the time.
This is actually a very typical argument that assumes I define sin by the law. I don’t. The law was never applicable to me thus the prohibitions made in it are not for me either. I define homosexuality as a sin based on the definition of sin: To miss the mark. Let me explain:
Human beings were created by God way before the law. And even before the fall of man, they had a purpose to fulfill: Bear His image, subdue the earth, be fruitful and multiply. As I have already said, Jesus is not a homosexual, so already here homosexuality misses the marked purpose of bearing His image.
Since it is also impossible for two men or two woman to procreate, they also miss the mark on the be fruitful and multiply front. Since they can’t multiply, they will only be able to subdue and tend the earth for one generation before going extinct. Based on those three missed marks, I hold that homosexuality is a sin.
Now before someone set the hounds on me, I differentiate between only 2 kinds of sin. Forgiven and unforgiven. Homosexuality falls into the forgiven kind since the only unforgiven sin that remains is unbelief in Christ. So when I teach, as I have done since learning about grace, that our sins are forgiven past, present and future, then I include homosexuality in that.
Yes, homosexuality is forgiven just like any other sin, past present and future. So no matter what expression of sin you still have in your life after salvation, be it porn, drugs, adultery, stealing, homosexuality or whatever, Christ has provided forgiveness for that. So based on that principle, I believe a person can be truly saved and yet still live their life contrary to their reborn nature, which includes amongst others, homosexuality.
That being said, I believe Jesus is fully capable of having a relationship with people no matter their sexual preferences. I don’t know about you but sex is not all life is about and my identity is certainly not defined by my sex-life. It is merely one part, it is not the only part. I can at times fail to express Christ in me in one area, but excel at expressing Him in many other areas.
Despite the fact that I personally have many faults in my life, from character flaws to the occasional behavioral missteps, I am still able to reveal and express Christ. He is expressed despite my shortcomings, my mistakes, my faults and my weaknesses, but that does not excuse them for He has supplied me with the power to live free of them. There are things I am working on and renewing my mind by His grace daily. I have not arrived, but I have left.
Whilst thinking on all these things I kept being drawn to the story of Jesus and the woman caught in the act of adultery. When I asked Jesus why, He told me to substitute any other sin in the place of adultery. (See John 8:4)
And they said to Him, “Teacher, this person was caught in homosexuality, in the very act.”
And they said to Him, “Teacher, this person was caught watching porn, in the very act.”
And they said to Him, “Teacher, this person was caught stealing, in the very act.”
And they said to Him, “Teacher, this person was caught lying, in the very act.”
Jesus response was that he who has not sinned could throw the first stone. Since all have sinned, nobody can throw any stones except Jesus. After all the condemning hypocrites have left, Jesus turns to whomever is caught in whichever act and tells them He does not condemn them. Then He adds, go and sin no more.
When I hear those words, ‘Go and sin no more’ I am not hearing a conditional release or a law to obey. I am hearing an encouragement from Jesus. I hear Him empowering me to live free from sin by saying, ‘When you live this way, you are choosing to live below the best I have for you. Go and live in the abundance I have provided and forget about these things that merely rob you of precious elements of life. Look, the doors of the prison are open, leave and be free.’
After this Jesus asked me how I think He would react if this same woman were again caught in the act of adultery a few days later? I said, ‘The same way?’ and He said, ‘Exactly. Where sin abounds grace abounds much more. I can see the true woman, and I love her. These affairs are not who she really is.”
God has made us kings, and when we choose to live as paupers, it does not take away from the fact that we are kings. But once we see and come to experience life as kings, living like paupers will not be appealing to us at all. If you had $10 million dollars in the bank, would you choose to live on the streets?
Having said all that let me readdress the question from the start of this article. Can a person be saved and a homosexual at the same time? No. One is either a Christian or a homosexual. You can’t express two contrasting identities at the same time. 1 Cor 6:9-11 makes this clear. Verse 11 says ‘and such were some of you.’ That means that there was a change in identity. You are no longer a homosexual, an adulterer, a drunk, a thief or any of the other sin identities listed.
Can a person be saved and ACT in homosexual ways? Yes. Just like a person can be saved, go through a divorce, gossip, commit adultery, get drunk and do many of the other things listed in the same verses. Yet we don’t call their salvation into question as readily.
Salvation is a change in identity, and subsequently a change in the expression of identity. So when a saved person with a new nature chooses to engage in homosexuality, they are merely acting in a particular manner, they are not expressing their true selves in one particular area. Even the word act is a word that means to pretend. You are merely pretending, you are not being your real self.
Robin Williams played the role of a gay man, Armand Goldman, in the 1996 movie, ‘The Birdcage’. Williams is heterosexual in real life, Armand was only an act, a role he portrayed. To say you are a Christian and a homosexual is like saying Armand Goldman is the true identity while Robin Williams is an act. If Williams were to dress as Armand and go about his everyday life acting like Armand, people who know him will soon ask, ‘What are you doing? You are Robin Williams, not Armand Goldman.’ Your real identity is not homosexual, but you can choose to act homosexually.
Further to this there is the question about expressing sexuality in eternity. Scripture is not very clear on that so we can only speculate. Yet Matt 22:30 says that in heaven we will not marry nor be given in marriage. Sex outside of marriage is called a sin by various Old and New Testament writers, which can lead one to conclude that if we aren’t to marry nor are given in marriage, perhaps sexual intercourse is no longer a driving passion in heaven.
Perhaps the joys and pleasure experienced in our glorified bodies in heaven will make sex pale in comparison. With our glorified bodies we will be holy and complete on all levels, just like Jesus. Completeness means there is no longer any need. That would logically include sexual needs. If heaven is a divine place without need and want, then sexual intercourse might not be high priority there since it is almost entirely a need and want based passion.
And keeping with the Christ-like identity, if you are a Christian who engages in homosexuality, I believe that once you get to heaven you will no longer express that identity because you will be completely expressed in your true form, Christ-like, and that does not include homosexuality for Christ is not a homosexual.
Now I know this article is not all encompassing, but at this point in time this is my current conclusion.
You might believe you were born a certain way, but as a Christian, you are reborn in a different way.
Grace and peace
Founder of www.charismaministries.org and author of the book ‘So You Think Your Mind Is Renewed?’